Small Illinois community shaken after missing girl found dead in ditch

SPRING VALLEY, Illinois (WQAD) -- Authorities held a press conference Monday afternoon, January 29th to talk about the investigation into the body that was found and identified as a missing teenage girl.

Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle confirmed that the body of 16-year-old Diamond Bradley was found Saturday, January 27th just before 1 p.m. in a ditch off a county highway in Granville Township, located in Putnam County.

Days earlier, on Wednesday, January 24th, her family had reported her missing.  Sheriff Doyle said an investigation into her whereabouts was launched at that time.  He said it is believed she was last seen at her home in the early morning hours Wednesday.

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Community shaken after missing girl found dead in ditch
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Community shaken after missing girl found dead in ditch

Diamond Bradley, 16, was found dead of multiple stab wounds in a ditch in rural Putnam County, Illinois on Jan. 27.

(Photo: WQAD)

Putnam County Sheriff Kevin Doyle said Richard Henderson, 26, of Standard, Illinois, was arrested on Monday, Feb. 5 after voluntarily giving a statement to investigators.

(Photo: WQAD)

According to Doyle, Henderson and Bradley "met through the internet" and agreed to meet the morning she was reported missing. A physical altercation occurred, resulting in Henderson killing Diamond.

(Photo: WQAD)

"Our ultimate goal is to obtain a conviction," he said. "We are confident we have the person who committed this act in custody."

(Photo: WQAD)

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An autopsy Sunday confirmed that the Spring Valley teen died as a result of homicide.  Sheriff Doyle said investigators believe the incident was isolated to this one victim.

Once the press conference was opened for questions, someone asked whether Spring Valley had ever seen anything similar to this case.  An officer standing before the group said that in his 29-year career in Spring Valley two other children have been murdered.

Authorities are seeking any additional information that would help them with their investigation.

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